Pancake Day, AKA Shrove Tuesday is one of the most exciting days in the foodie calendar. It's the day when you are encouraged to gorge on all the good stuff before you fast for Lent. Given that I'm not religious and am not planning to give anything more significant than stamp collecting up for Lent, Pancake Day is essentially a wild card to tuck into whatever you want with impunity! Hahahah! Cowie organised a brilliant event. About a month ago we invited some close friends to come round for a pancake party. At first it started out as being a simple affair with Cowie planning to cook an industrial amount of batter and do something simple with lemons and sugar. But this didn't last long. Instead we set up a competition whereby each couple had to supply a different filling with the most innovative filling winning the kudos of being the Paunch's 20008 Pancake Champion.
Being a competitive bunch of surveryors, lawyers, recruitment consultants, insurance brokes, university lecturers and ad men we took up the challenge and all brought our attempts at glory!
Anna and Edwin did a great job with their "Italian Job". A tasty combination of pesto, sundried tomatoes from Sainsbury's and supplemented by some San Lorenzo classics and finished off with some mozerellla was delicious. It was inspired by Anna's friend who has a pancake stall in Borough Market. Well done Anna and Edwin. Good depth of flavour and good originality.
Well done the Emissons. Top work.
Cowie and I supplied a delicious treat of smoked salmon with dill and creme fraiche. Simple. But utterly gorgeous. Very luxururious indeed. And great colours too.
It felt quite Russian. All we needed was some chilled vodka and some fur coats! Although it wasn't voted as being the best filling, I was still pretty proud as it was colourful and full of flavour.
Blades and Heather came to the party with goat's cheese and honey roasted ham. A great, simple combination that tasted gorgeous. Salty and full of creamy meatiness. And with a smear of bruchetta topping it was even better!
The beauty was that we could mix and match the various cheeses and cured meats that everyone had brought along. The demand for the large meat platter was pretty agressive, resulting in a Mexican stand off for the salmon, meat platter and Victoria's delicious and award winning wild mushroom and bacon sludge. It might not look that amazing, but it was sublime. Especially when you throw some goat's cheese and rocket in there as well!
Well done Victoria. Good stuff.
In return, we also had a prociutto, bufallo mozerella and balsamic tomato salad which was stunning. Sweet. Salty. Sharp. Mmmm.
Jack and Keira brought along some lovely Ementhal and some plastic ham which they intended to be made into an alpine racklette style pancake. Unfortunately, we didn't have the kit to make the most of it. But to be honest you can't go wrong with ham and cheese pancakes anyway!
Now for the sweet pancakes! In brief:
The San Lorenzo "Nutella" spread was amazing. So naughty and o so tasty!
Jack and Keira had an absolute blinder. Sultanas with cinamon and ice cream was immense and rightly picked up the sweet pancake of the year award! Well bowled!
Ian and Emma covered off the classic base with lemon and sugar which you simply can't go wrong with. Sharp and sweet. Nice.
As a finale I had bought some passion fruit and creme fraiche which brought back amazing memories of eating fresh chapatis in Zanzibar. That tropical clarity of taste. Yummy! Sadly this one was wolfed down so fast we didn't get a picture!
Well done everyone and especially to Cowie for hosting a brilliant event. Particular congratulations go to Jack and Keira for their sultana, cinamon and ice cream dessert and to Victoria and Alex for their delicious savoury bacon and mushroom extravaganza. I can't wait for the next Shrove Tuesday. Pancake Day rocks!
Jack's clearly praying that the white chocolate hasn't run out... and below, 2 very talented cyclists prepare to ride their tandem back to Pimlico!
We still love to go on trips around the UK, staying in BnBs or camping in search of a good meal or two - hence, Around Britain with a Paunch. Quite often the trips have been prompted by Diana Henry's Gastro Pub Cookbook. Here's where we've been to: